I found that one of the worst things about depression is feeling isolated and alone.
To try and overcome the isolation, I have tried to open up to a few people about my depression – however the conversation didn’t always go quite as planned…….I thought everyone would be understanding and get what I was going through without much explanation. Some were helpful and some people just stared back at me with a blank face at a loss for words, making me instantly regret that I’d said anything to them.
Opening up to your friends and family about how you are feeling could be really helpful to you, but be prepared that they may say some of the unhelpful things below, and not what you are wanting to hear!
10 things NOT to say to someone who’s depressed
1. What’s wrong?
I’m not sure what is wrong!! Can’t I just come home and cry for no reason every night?
2. Why are you sad?
I’m not sad, depression is completely different. Please don’t downplay what I am going through.
3. You’ll feel better tomorrow after some sleep.
Maybe, but I probably won’t.
4. What happened to make you depressed?
Nothing in particular has happened, this is just a culmination of everything that I am thinking and feeling right now.
5. There are people who have it much worse than you.
I know that already – but thanks for reminding me of how selfish I am that here I am feeling depressed when I have a good job and a roof over my head and others go through much worse. There must be something wrong with me.
6. You just need to act positive.
Great! My depression is gone now thank you so much.
7. Yeh I completely get what you mean. Shall we see what’s on Netflix?
Yeh okay let’s not deny Netflix is great – but I have just opened up my deepest feelings and you can’t even be bothered to engage in the conversation?
8. What are you depressed about?
I wish I knew.
9. You just need some fresh air.
I don’t have the motivation to leave the house. I have also tried that before and didn’t feel better. Also my social anxiety means that I’m terrified someone might ask me for directions.
10. Maybe you’re thinking too much.
I definitely AM thinking too much, but there isn’t just a switch I have to make me stop thinking about things.
Trying to explain depression and anxiety to people who have never experienced it can be exhausting and emotionally draining. The things that people say can be upsetting. However, you should remember that people are trying to be there for you and say the right thing but are unsure of what that is.
So try not to be infuriated, but try as best you can to calmly explain what it feels like, and let them know the best way they can support you.
If you can relate to this post, share it with people to help them understand how you’re feeling. Hopefully it will lead to a much calmer and helpful conversation!